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In early 1772, locals in Rhode Island who opposed British trade policies turned to violence. The British cutter Gaspee, commanded by Lt. William Dudingston, had begun cracking down on smuggling. Dudingston was quite zealous in his job and often stopped innocent ships and/or seized legitimate supplies without payment. On June 9, 1772, locals plotted to lured the Gaspee into shallow waters off Namquit Point. There, the Gaspee ran aground. Colonialists raided the Gaspee under cover of night, wounding Dudingston and rounding up his crew. Finally, the Gaspee was set on fire. The British government considered this a direct challenge to royal authority. The Rhode Island Governor issued an arrest warrant and reward for the unnamed participants but the raiding party was never arrested. It was known in the papers as the Gaspee Affair. Shortly after this, the British redircted their attention to Boston and the Boston Tea Party.

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Q: What or who was Cutter Gaspee in 1772?
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